Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is My Reaction Inappropriate?

Nikon has announced the D3, their next-generation high end digital SLR. And, at last, Nikon is building their own CMOS "full frame" chip. For us old folks, that means a 24 mm is a 24 mm again and we can control our backgrounds like Cartier-Bresson and Capa meant us to.

There's also a new D300, though it doesn't have the up-sized chip.

Some places with the announcements and commentary:

UPDATE: The New York Times has a blurb. Not much new, but if the Times is talking about it ...

2 comments:

Sean said...

who says Cartier-Bresson and Capa had the monopoly on the visual agenda? There is no proof that just because that's how cameras worked when they shot, that's how they SHOULD work.

Mark E. Johnson said...

It's not how they worked it's the level of control they exercised - a level we as an industry have struggled to gain since the advent of the APS-C sized chip.

When moving from 4x5 or 2 1/4 to 35 mm, the focal lengths got shorter AND the maximum apertures got wider, allowing for a smoother transition in background control. The move from 35 mm to APS-C had the expansion downward in focal lengths (e.g., the 14 mm f/2.8s that proliferated), but we did not see the increases in maximum apertures that we saw 50 years ago. (Yes, Sigma has some very fast wide primes, but that's really it.)

If someone were to make a 17 mm f/1.8 lens, I could be pretty happy. But putting a 24 mm f/2.8 on a D3 will be a welcome return to me.

And don't get me started on all those yahoos shooting college football with an 80-200 saying, "It's the same as having a 300/2.8 ..."

It just isn't.